August 10, 2013
This edition of Names You Need to Know will focus on the Calgary Flames. The Flames organization is pretty wear top to bottom right now, but there are some intriguing players in the pipeline.
Sven Baertschi – Baertschi made a big splash in the spring of 2012 when he scored three goals in a five game emergency call up, setting expectations for him very high. Probably unrealistically high. Baertschi is a highly skilled player with a lot of offensive arsenal to his game, but is unlikely to ever be a point-per-game player in the NHL. He has improved his skating and defensive play, but his size and strength are still negatives. Baertschi should be a productive NHLer, either a very good second liner or fringe top-line guy.
Sean Monahan – A very well-rounded player, especially for his age, Monahan is a coach’s dream center. He don’t really have a negative to speak of, but doesn’t have top-end skating or puck skills either. Monahan combination of hockey sense and skill does project to a future first-line spot and he has point-per-game potential. I really like this kid, and I’ve heard him compared to Jonathan Toews. While not a huge stretch, I think a better comparison would be Eric Staal. Either way, Monahan looks like a future All-Star and fixture in the middle for Calgary for many years to come. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him stick with the Flames this fall.
Markus Granlund – Granlund is a prospect who should receive more attention. He has outstanding vision of the ice and passing ability, making him a natural playmaker. Granlund has been productive throughout his career, despite playing against older competition. He hasn’t played in North America yet, but is expected to debut this fall. A high risk reward prospect, his size and concerns about his adaptation to the pro game are concerns. he may take some time to adjust in the AHL, or he may not adjust at all.
Mark Jankowski – Whenever I talk about Jankowski, I have to preface it by saying that while it appears that I don’t like him as a prospect, the reality is that when evaluating talent, 1st-round picks are held to a higher standard. Jankowski doesn’t hit that standard for me. While I think he is a solid prospect, I don’t think the Flames will ever get 1st-round value out of him. Take a wait and see approach on him, I wouldn’t draft or roster him at this point.
John Gaudreau – It seems that whenever a talented very small prospect comes along, people in hockey circles compare him to Theo Fleury. This is usually not accurate because Fleury was built like a fire hydrant with a very low center of gravity. I remember seeing much larger players go down after checking Fleury while he kept on going. John Gaudreau is immensely gifted and also very small. Not Theo Fleury small, just small. That doesn’t mean he can’t have a productive NHL career, but it does mean that the odds are against it. Nathan Gerbe was an excellent college player who has a career high of 31 points in the NHL. With that said, I really hope Gaudreau is successful in the NHL and has a long career, but since you are here for fantasy advice I would say look elsewhere.
Jon Gillies – Gillies had an outstanding freshman season at Providence and should be on your goalie prospect radar. he is very athletic and fundamentally sound as well. Gillies got a taste of International experience with as the backup for the US at the WJC, which can only help his development. Keep an eye on him and if he continues to progress he’s in a perfect situation for a fast track (goalie fast track) to the NHL.
Corban Knight – Knight had a very productive career at North Dakota and is a hard-working forward. I think his skill and determination will get him to the NHL, as either a solid third-liner who provides secondary scoring or a second-line player. In the right situation (playing time and linemates) he could surprise.
Tyler Wotherspoon – Better in real hockey than fantasy, Wotherspoon is a defensive defenseman with some offensive ability. He’ll never be confused with Erik Karlsson, but can play on the power-play and makes good passes. He may be worth rostering in fantasy hockey at some point, but doesn’t need to be drafted or holding down a prospect slot.
As always, thanks for reading. You may follow me on Twitter at RichDillon17 if you are into that. Pick up the Fantasy Prospect Report for more prospect information from the Dobbershop.